Benni recalled for friendly

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

After missing the Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana, Benni "Magic Feet" McCarthy's dream of representing Bafana Bafana at the 2010 World Cup still lives on.

Coach Carlos Alberto Parreira recalled the Blackburn Rovers striker for the international friendly against Paraguay on March 26.

The match will take place at Super Stadium in Atteridgeville.

McCarthy was left out of the team to Ghana, which fuelled speculation that he struck a deal with Parreira not to consider him for the biennial African spectacle.

What makes the game more interesting is that McCarthy will also come face to face with his strike partner at Rovers - Roque Santa Cruz.

While Mamelodi Sundowns' Benson Mhlongo deserved to be given a rest, it is baffling why his teammate Surprise Moriri was retained.

Parreira announced the 22-member team to play Paraguay after Bafana Bafana beat Zimbabwe 2-1 in Germiston, thanks to an own goal by James Matola.

Parreira will use the game against the South Americans as part of his preparations for the opening 2010 Afcon qualifier against Nigeria in Abuja in June.

Sipho Nkumane, Bafana manager, said they did not anticipate problems as the game against Paraguay fell under the Fifa calendar.

The team:

Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Moeneeb Josephs (Bidvest Wits)

Defenders: Aaron Mokoena (Blackburn Rovers, England), Bongani Khumalo (SuperSport United), Mokete Tsotsetsi (Chiefs), Bryce Moon (Ajax Cape Town), Nasief Morris (Panathinaikos, Greece), Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa, Israel), Innocent Mdledle (Orlando Pirates)

Midfielders: Lance Davids (Djurgardens, Sweden), Thulasizwe Mbunyane (Free State Stars), Steven Pienaar (Everton, England), Surprise Moriri (Mamelodi Sundowns), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Golden Arrows), Bafo Biyela (AmaZulu), Bernard Parker (Thanda Royal Zulu), Teko Modise (Orlando Pirates), Siphiwe Tshabalala (Chiefs), Sthembiso Ngcobo (FS Stars)

Strikers: Excellent Walaza (Pirates), Thembinkosi Fanteni (Maccabi Haifa) and Benni McCarthy (Blackburn Rovers).